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The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles Reviews


Available July 30th, 2011.
Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of Katya "Katey" Kontent, a young, sharp, urbane woman of extraordinary ability and humble origins. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and a large dose of moxie, Katey embarks on a yearlong journey through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a future far brighter than she has been told she has the right to expect.

Rules of Civility opens on the last night of 1937 in a jazz bar in Manhattan, where Katey, a secretary at a Wall Street law firm, and her glamorous boarding house roommate Eve meet a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a friendly but world-weary smile
named Tinker Gray. “Dibs,” says Eve, as both women become instantly enamoured. This chance encounter and its startling consequences cast Katey off her current course.

By summertime of 1938, Katey’s social orbit has expanded and she becomes acquainted with a shy and principled businessman named Wallace Wofford, the elegant and wealthy Anne Grandin, and a pack of energetic, soiree-hopping trust funders led by the irrepressible Dicky Vanderwhile. With her new credentials in-hand as an assistant to a Conde Nast publisher and her ever-increasing social stature, Katey experiences first-hand the poise secured by wealth and station, but also the envy, disloyalty, and desires that reside just below the surface.

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